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LifeStar Called After 3-Year-Old Falls in Colchester


A 3-year-old was airlifted to Hartford Hospital after falling in Colchester on Wednesday evening, according to state police.

State police said the child fell on Woodbine Road. An ambulance was also dispatched around 8:20 p.m.

The toddler's condition is unknown. It's not clear how the child fell.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Fire Forces 2 Families From Condos in Naugatuck


Two families will stay with relatives Wednesday night after fire damaged their condo units on Barn Finch Circle in Naugatuck, according to the fire department.

Firefighters from Waterbury, Beacon Falls and Naugatuck were called to 28 Barn Finch Circle around 7:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials at the scene said flames spread into the attic, and although the building is not a loss, residents will need to sleep elsewhere tonight.

Since other units in the building are still livable, firefighters will remain on scene overnight to make sure flames don't reignite, according to the fire department.

No one was hurt.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Drive-By Shooting Attempt Prompts School Lockdown


Authorities flocked to Valley Street in Willimantic after gunfire rang out near a school for young children in an apparent drive-by shooting attempt Wednesday afternoon.

Police said a passenger in a car fired shots around 3:30 p.m. near the Windham Early Childhood Center, just a few hundred feet from Windham Hopsital. Two people were on the sidewalk at the time but no one was hurt.

"There were two pedestrians that were walking down the street, that reported a vehicle pulled up, shots were fired at the pedestrians," said Willimantic police spokesman Cpl. Stanley Parizo.

The Windham Early Childhood Center nearby at 322 Prospect Street locked down immediately, and police went to check on the well being of the children.

"Willimantic police officers responded, went into the school, provided security for the students within the school until we made sure that there was no assailant in the general area," Parizo said.

Investigators collecting evidence discovered a number of spent shell casings, according to police.

Police are asking anyone who saw or heard anything to come forward with information.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hamden Man Threatened to Kill Mom Before Standoff: Cops


Police used a Taser and bean bag rifle to take a man into custody after he threatened to kill his mother, then barricaded himself in his Hamden home and begged officers to shoot him on Wednesday, authorities said.

A SWAT team surrounded the house on Bradley Avenue around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, and police blocked off part of the street.

According to police, Tyron Clemons threatened to kill his mother, who called 911.

"The initial report was that Tyron Clemons' mother arrived home with her husband and her son threatened to kill her with a knife," said Hamden police spokesman Capt. Ronald Smith.  

Police tried to arrest Clemons and even used a Taser, but he retreated inside, prompting an hours-long standoff. Smith said he begged officers to take his life.

"Clemons, throughout the negotiation, pleaded with officers to shoot him," Smith said.

The incident erupted with Clemons emerged onto the porch with a knife in hand and refused to put it down, according to police.

"We had given him several orders to drop the knife. He refused," Smith said. "He then left the porch with the knife in hand and approached officers."

Police shot Clemons with a bean bag rifle and again with a Taser. They loaded him onto a stretcher and brought him to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he'll undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

"The preliminary investigation revealed it might have been a medication problem," Smith explained.

He said police used every effort to avoid using lethal force, and Clemons was not hurt during the take-down. Criminal charges are pending.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Guardsmen Tried to Sell Guns, Ammo


Two active members of the U.S. Army National Guard were arrested in San Diego Wednesday after an alleged undercover sting operation caught them selling dozens of stolen firearms, rounds of ammunition in sealed crates and high-capacity magazines to purported members of a Mexican drug cartel, according to a federal complaint.

Jaime Casillas and Andrew Reyes were allegedly caught after an eight month sting operation run by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the complaint said.

A spokesman for the National Guard told NBC 7 that at least one of the men mentioned in the federal complaint is a member of the National Guard and are working to confirm if the other man is a member. The National Guard spokesman had no comment on the complaint.

Over the course of seven different transactions, the complaint said, the men allegedly sold thousands of rounds of ammunition to men they believed would give the products to Mexican drug cartels.

The undercover agents purchasing the products told the men – who were in their uniforms for at least part of the sales process - that their weapons would be shipped to drug cartels in Mexico, the complaint said. During one transaction, the men allegedly showed up in their uniforms and collected $2,150 from the agent for an AR-15 rifle.

Throughout the sting, the men allegedly sold more than a dozen firearms to undercover officers in addition to selling stolen military ammunition to confidential informants. Among those weapons were four AR-15 rifles, an AK-47 assault rifle, a .40-caliber pistol and a 7.62 caliber SKS rifle, the complaint alleged.

Some of the items were issued by the military, according to the complaint, while others were purchased in Texas and then re-sold. Some of those weapons, the men allegedly told the undercover agents, were “hot,” meaning they had been used in a crime or were stolen. Reyes also told an agent that the so-called SAPI plates and ammunition magazines were from military inventory.

The complaint alleged the men sold more than 4,000 rounds of stolen military ammunition in sealed crates to the men in addition to 190 stolen high-capacity magazines still in their sealed packages from the Army. They also allegedly sold 24 military-grade body armor vests.

Reyes was taken into custody at his La Mesa home and Casillas was arrested during a traffic stop in El Cajon.

The men will appear in Federal Court Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin for an arraignment. They face possible unlicensed firearms dealing charges and charges for unlawfully transporting firearms bought out of state.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Missing Teen Found With Sex Offender in Hartford


A 15-year-old reported missing from East Granby last Friday was found in Hartford on Wednesday at the apartment of a registered sex offender, according to state police.

State police said detectives tracked the teen to 33 Rowe Avenue in Hartford, where authorities found her with Jonathan Gonzalez, 23, a registered sex offender.

The teen was not hurt and went to the apartment of her own accord, according to police.

State police issued a Silver Alert after the teen's parents reported her missing Friday night. The alert was canceled Wednesday after she was found safe.

Police initially said the teen may have been traveling to Boston or Brooklyn for Fashion Week.

Gonzalez was arrested for violating probation by having unsupervised contact with a minor. He was taken into police custody and held on $1 million bond. Gonzalez is due in court Thursday.

State police said they expect to file more charges in connection with the case.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Sex Offender Registry

Fire Destroys Southington Home, 3 Cats Missing


Fire destroyed a home in Southington on Thursday morning and three cats are missing.

Fire broke out at 1700 Mount Vernon Road just after 12:30 a.m. and the family living in the home made it out safely.

The fire was under control as of 1:20 a.m., according to the fire department, but the house is a total loss.

What caused the fire is not known. Officials are investigating.

Photo Credit: Andrew Bottiglieri

Christie on Presidential Run: "I Have Not Made This Decision Yet"


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he hasn’t decided whether he will run for president in 2016 but said if he does make a bid for the White House he’s going to “do it honestly” and “won’t give up” his identity.

Speaking exclusively with Matt Lauer in a New Hampshire ice cream parlor on NBC’s “Today,” Christie said he plans to make a decision about whether he will seek the Republican party’s nomination for president in the next couple of months.

“We’re still going through the really personal personal part of this decision,” Christie said. “You don’t want to rush this decision. You do that in the time that it takes.”

Though Christie hasn’t announced a campaign, he has spent several days in New Hampshire, which holds a presidential primary a week after the Iowa caucuses, holding town halls.

He said if he does run, he won’t change his boisterous personality to do it.

“If I decide I want to do this, I’m going to do it honestly, and I'm going to go at as hard as I can and try to win every day,” he said. “I will never give being who I am, because that's a thing that stays with you forever."

Christie was once considered a presidential frontrunner for the GOP, but his popularity waned in the wake of the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. The governor was never implicated in the traffic-jamming political payback scheme, but he saw his popularity dissipate in the Garden State and across the country in the aftermath of the scandal.

“I don’t think anybody likes to have something like that happen on their watch,” Christie said. “There's no way that it doesn't affect you. In part because it happens and in part because of the incredible coverage it’s gotten.”

Christie added that he is comfortable with his approval ratings, which plummeted both in New Jersey and nationally after news broke about the politically-motivated lane closures. He said that, if he runs for office again, he’ll be comfortable not being a frontrunner.

"Poll numbers go up and go down based on your performance and I am far, far from finished with my career,” he told Lauer.

Though he didn’t announce a run for the Oval Office, Christie weighed in on presidential candidates from both parties.

He told Lauer he believed that the person sworn in to the nation’s highest elected office will be a former governor because that the country has had bad experiences with one-term senators as presidents – an apparent swipe at President Barack Obama, who was elected after one term in the U.S. Senate, and Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, all one-term Republican senators who have announced presidential campaigns.

“I will tell ya this, I think a governor is going to be our nominee,” he said. "I think our party and our country needs someone who has actually run something." 

Photo Credit: AP
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Car Fire Closes Lanes of I-95 South in Bridgeport


Two lanes of Interstate 95 South are closed in Bridgeport because of a car fire near exit 26.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Sex Offender Arrested in Bar Rape


A convicted violent sex offender has been arrested in connection with the rape of a woman inside the bathroom of a Manhattan sports bar over the weekend after he walked past the very same bar Wednesday morning and the owner recognized him, authorities say.

Rodney Stover, 48, was arrested on rape, sex assault and other charges in Saturday's attack at the Turnmill Bar on East 27th Street in Murray Hill, police said.

Turnmill bar owner Tom Lucas had been watching surveillance video from that night for hours when he stepped outside Wednesday morning and the suspect walked right past him, he told NBC 4 New York. He called police and followed Stover until officers arrived and cuffed him just blocks away. 

Stover was identified by the 23-year-old victim in a lineup. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. When asked by reporters as he was led from the police station Wednesday if he committed the rape, he shook his head no but said nothing else. 

According to police, Stover was hiding in one of the stalls inside a women's restroom at the bar Saturday evening, and when a woman emerged from one of the other stalls, he pushed her back in, grabbed her by the throat and raped her. He then fled the bar.

The level-three sex offender spent decades in prison on convictions of a 1990 rape in Pittsburgh and a 1992 rape in Southampton on Long Island, according to authorities. He was released from prison just this year, then moved into the Bellevue men's homeless shelter in Murray Hill. 

"I don't know how people like that are still allowed to walk on the street," said neighbor Katie Aulcino. 

News of the arrest has brought relief to neighbors.

"It could have been me or my friends," said one woman. "No one expects it, it's scary." 

48 year old Rodney Stover arrested for raping a woman in a Manhattan sports bar. When asked if he did it- he yelled "no". Stover is a level 3 sex offender, convicted for two other rapes in the 90s.

Posted by Brynn Gingras on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dramatic Rescue Caught on Body Cam


Fort Worth police on Wednesday released on-officer body camera footage of two patrol officers rushing to save a family and dog inside a burning home.

The incident happened in the early morning hours of April 6 as officers were on routine patrol along the 4600 block of Hemphill Street.

“I saw this, what I thought was fog,” said Officer Aaron Cade. “And I was like, ‘This is some really thick fog.’”

That fog turned out to be smoke, and Cade, as well as Officer Johnny Lopez, soon realized there was a fire.

The body camera footage shows Cade kicking in the front door of the home, while telling the residents that they were Fort Worth police and that their home was on fire.

After the door is broken open, a man and woman rush out to safety. The officers and a woman then go back inside to get the family dog.

“The smoke was real thick, so you’re trying not to take deep breaths,” Lopez told NBC 5 about entering the burning building without the aid of an oxygen mask.

The fire started at an electrical box at the rear of the home.

As the three exited the home with the dog, the video shows smoke starting to build inside just as the first fire fighters arrive to the scene.

“I didn’t do anything any other officer wouldn’t do,” Cade said about their actions that night.

“We’re first responders. So we just have to get the job done,” Lopez added.

No one was hurt and Fort Worth Police congratulated the officers on Twitter for their efforts.

Photo Credit: Fort Worth Police Department
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Fleeing Driver Smashes Into Garage


A driver fleeing deputies crashed through a wall in front of a Long Beach home before crashing across the lawn, slamming into the side of the house and wedging the vehicle under a pickup parked in a driveway.

Jacqueline Hernandez, 21, lost control of the car near the intersection of East Ritchie Street and North Pioneer Boulevard around 1 a.m, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman said. The chase began after emergency services received a call about a traffic crash on the southbound 605 Freeway near Carson Street, and an LASD helicopter officer saw the driver's car speeding away from the scene.

A short pursuit took place, which ended when the driver's black Toyota Corolla crashed through a wall and finally came to rest after colliding with a pickup truck. The truck's owner Chris Lease heard sirens and a helicopter, then moments later heard the crash.

"A car was sitting underneath my truck and it pushed my truck into my grandma's car. (It) smashed the whole side of her car," Lease said.

The car left tire marks on the homeowner's front lawn and damaged a window.

Hernandez was hospitalized in stable condition. She was receiving treatment and was expected to be cited for driving under the inflence after being released from the hospital, authorities said.

Photo Credit: LoudLabs

Funeral Held for Bridgeport Store Owner Killed During Robbery


Family and friends of Jose Salgado are paying their final respects to the 57-year-old Milford man who was killed in his Bridgeport grocery store during a robbery over the weekend.

Salgado was working with his wife at their store, Sapiao's Grocery at 351 Lexington Avenue, when armed robbers came in, demanding money on the afternoon of Saturday, April 11, according to police.

Just after Salgado gave the robbers the money, one of the robbers shot him.

Funeral services were held on Thursday morning in the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 4folloed by a mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Bridgeport.

The funeral is taking place on the same that one of the suspects in his murder, Leighton Vanderberg, 22, of New Haven, will be arraigned.

Police are still looking for Treizy Lopez, 18, of New Haven.

Salgado was born in Portugal, immigrated to the United States in 1975 and settled in Bridgeport, police said.

He worked for years as a machine operator in the Laborers Union until opening Sapiaos Grocery Store in 1991.

Salgado leaves Maria, his wife of 37 years; as well as two children, Jose D. Salgado and his wife Jennifer Jaques-Salgado of Orange and Rosa Ferreira and her husband Rolando of Bridgeport; as well as grandchildren, siblings and several nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers and sisters-in-law and many friends.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Flooding Closes Route 17a in Portland


Route 17a in Portland is closed at the fairgrounds because water is over the road.

Use Route 17 instead.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Flood Warnings Issued for Parts of State


Flood warnings have been issued for parts of Connecticut because the Connecticut River is above flooding stage.

Flood stage is 16 feet for the river in the Hartford area, according to the National Weather Service, and it was at 16.7 feet as of 12:46 p.m. and is expected to rise to nearly 17.4 feet by early Friday before beginning to fall.

In Middle Haddam, flood stage is 7 feet and the Connecticut River had already reached 7.1 feet as of 12:55 p.m., causing minor flooding, according to the National Weather Service. The river is expected to continue rising to near 7.7 feet after midnight.

Lowland flooding is expected along the river from Hartford through Wethersfield and Glastonbury and affect several riverside roadways, as well as several park and recreational facilities.

Further downstream flooding has expected in low-lying sections along the Connecticut River from Wethersfield and Glastonbury downstream through Cromwell and Middletown.


In Portland, Route 17A is closed near the fairgrounds because of flooding.
The flood warning is in effect until further notice.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ben & Jerry's, Craft Brewer Team Up for Ice Cream-Flavored Beer


If you have a taste for beer and ice cream, you might like Ben & Jerry's latest offering.

This fall, Vermont's Ben & Jerry's and New Belgium Brewing out of Colorado will begin selling a special release beer called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. It's described as a brown ale laden with chocolatey, salted caramel, vanilla goodness. 

The brew will come in 22 ounce bottles and contain 6.3 percent alcohol.

"We’re big fans of New Belgium Brewery, their values, and their fun culture, and of course their beer," said Jay Curley, senior global marketing manager of Ben & Jerry’s. "We’re excited for the campaign we’ve developed together."

Some of the proceeds from sales of the beer will go to an environmental group fighting the effect of climate change on mountains. More details will be released later this year.

Photo Credit: New Belgium Brewing

Monroe Brush Fire Spreads to Boats, Truck and Forest


Crews battled a brush fire on Webb Circle in Monroe on Thursday afternoon, according to the White Hills Fire Company, which provided mutual aid.

Monroe, Stevenson and Stepney firefighters responded at 1:30 p.m. to a Webb circle home after reports of a fast-moving brush fire, the fire department said on its Facebook page. The resident was burning a pile of sticks and then the fire grew and spread to two boats and trailers, a box truck and the forest, according to Monroe Fire Marshal Bill Davin.

Firefighters could see smoke from miles awy. Crews had to use tanker trucks because there were no fire hydrants in the area. Firefighters put the brush fire out quickly and stayed there for an hour to spray water on the area where the fire broke out. They extinguished the fire on the the boats with foam.

There were no injuries.

The White Hills Fire Department in Shelton also supplied a tanker and brush truck, according to Monroe fire officials.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection listed the fire danger for today as high because fuels are dry and can burn readily.

Monroe fire officials remind residents that they need burn permits to burn brush when the conditions are safe to do so. Residents can get permits from the Monroe fire marshal.

Photo Credit: Monroe Fire Department

Shed Catches Fire As Berlin Homeowner Burns Brush


One of many brush fires across Connecticut happened Thursday afternoon on Edgewood Road in Berlin after a homeowner was burning brush and fire spread.

Authorities say a homeowner at 128 Edgewood Road thought the brush he’d burned was out. He turned around, and the next thing he knew fire had spread to his shed.

“If the winds were going the other way he could have lost a few more sheds, he could have lost his house, it could have spread to other neighbors homes and buildings, so yes hit’s a problem here but it could have been much worse," said Matt Odishoo, Berlin's Deputy Fire Marshal.

It took crews about 45 minutes to get the fire under control, but they remained on the scene for hours to deal with hot spots that spread to Southington Road.

Even though a long winter’s worth of snow just melted, the fire danger is still high.

“Just a few weeks ago the ground was white in Connecticut, but this time of year it’s really driven by the humidity where the leaves and the twigs dry out so quickly," said Chris Martin with DEEP.

Martin pointed out that because the soil is still wet underneath they don’t expect long drawn-out fires.

"Just quick flashy fires," he explained.

Experts warn to use common sense if you’re going to burn brush.

“If burning is allowed stay with the fire, if you’re with that fire and that fire is burning you should stay with it at all times, you should have a water source with you and not a bucket of water but actually some type of a garden hose or something you can use in case that fire gets away," Odishoo said.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection lists Thursday's fire danger as high and open burning is prohibited.

Firefighters have since left the scene, but the fire marshal was still there just before 5:30 p.m. investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hannaford Issues Pine Nut Recall


Pine nuts in 4-ounce packages have been recalled by Hannaford and Superior Nut & Candy due to potential Salmonella contamination.

The pine nut packages are sold in store produce departments with a clearly packaged front and tan-colored label on the back. The back label lists "Pine Nuts" as the only ingredient and has the UPC number 72543920016 with a "best by" date of Nov. 17, 2015.

As a result of the recall, these items have been removed from the shelves at Hannaford stores. Customers who have purchased this item are urged not to eat it and to return the item to a Hannaford store for a full refund.

Customers with questions can contact Superior Nut & Candy customer relations at 730-254-7900 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hannaford, based in Scarborough, Maine, has more than 180 stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Superior Nut & Candy is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Photo Credit: FILE - necn

New Details in Torture of Girl Caught on Nanny Cam


Video from a nanny cam shows a babysitter beating a 3-year-old Connecticut girl and forcing her hands onto a hot stovetop, the "absolute fear and pain from the trauma" evident in the little girl's eyes as she screams in an effort to escape, according to an arrest report obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media Group earlier this week.

Lidia Quilligana, 31, was arrested March 27, the same day the child's mother came home from work and discovered her child had been burned. The nanny made an excuse for the second-degree burns and went home for the day. The mother took her daughter to a doctor, then reviewed footage from a new nanny cam and called authorities, who arrested Quilligana at her Danbury home.

Initial reports indicated the video had captured the nanny abusing the child, but details of the footage were not available until now. According to Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Danbury police officer Thomas Geanuracos wrote in an arrest report that the video shows the nanny "repeatedly" taking the child by the wrist and forcing the girl's hands onto "what appeared to be hot stove burners."

Geanuracos wrote he watched the sitter at one point jump on the child as she lay on the ground "and it appeared Quilligana applied all of her weight onto her and then pulled her pants and underwear down and spanked her," the Hearst Connecticut Media Group reported. Another time, he saw the nanny pick the child up by the throat with two hands and throw her to the ground, he wrote.

The officer also said the nanny cam appeared to show the sitter force-feeding the child something too hot to eat, causing her mouth to blister; when the child tried to avoid the scalding food, the nanny beat her, the report said. According to Hearst Connecticut Media Group, the video described in Geanuracos' report only accounts for part of the hidden camera footage.

A prosecutor said the child could be heard screaming as she tried to get away.

Quilligana has been in custody on a first-degree assault charge that carries a 20-year prison sentence. Bail was set at $1 million after a prosecutor who saw the video argued for an increase from the $100,000 that was initially set. She has not entered a plea and is due in court later this month. 

Hearst Connecticut Media Group said her lawyer, Jennifer Tunnard, was not available for comment Wednesday. She did not immediately return a call early Thursday.

Photo Credit: Danbury Police
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